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Old 07-23-2013, 01:31 PM
 
5,816 posts, read 9,752,843 times
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Victorian Post Mortem Photo's: Memento Mori - YouTube
this may seem weird today but I wonder if some pictures are not fakes, some of the people here look alive...Vicorian era was puritan with sex but not with death (it was considered normal to exposed the loved ones dead )ours is puritan with death (we try to hide it and even to burn the corpus delicti -the corpse-)
and not with sex . I don't believe we are more "enlightened " today than our forefathers were, though.
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Old 07-24-2013, 10:15 AM
 
Location: SWFL
21,315 posts, read 18,082,888 times
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Wow, disturbing, to say the least to me.

That one pic of the whole family! Murder/suicide?

The one where the little boy and man are sitting in a chair with their arms wrapped around each other....which one is dead?

The living kids who were forced to "snuggle" with a corpse...their faces say it all.

My questions are rhetorical, pigeon. I know you don't have the answers. Just needed to ask them.

Like my first comment in this thread....creepy.
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Old 07-25-2013, 12:45 AM
 
Location: Northampton, Mass.
697 posts, read 850,940 times
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To our modern minds it is creepy, but in Victorian times it certainly was not much so---I would say the commonness of the practice in displaying and photographing the dead waned starting around 1890 or so, and certainly by World War I in America. Obviously some continued to do so but the increased availability of the camera as well as death being encountered less often in our lives (better medicine and sanitation, death in hospitals and not at home as much, etc.) lead us to take a more taboo outlook on death because it became less common for us to encounter it---though I am not sure if we became more sensitized to it or not, we just handle it differently as a society.
I think why we see so many of young children in those Victorian death-photos is that if he or she died young, parents realized they had not a picture of their now dead child, so it was taken posthumously. Before roll film became available in about 1890 photos were somewhat more expensive, the equipment more cumbersome and consequently, they were taken of people less frequently. It was a noteworthy event one prepared for.
But it does go to show really how different we handled death 100, 150 years ago.
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Old 07-25-2013, 07:18 AM
 
Location: NoVa
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I've watched that video 3x and the more I watch it, the more I find that it is not creepy. It was the norm then. There are probably things we do now that people in the future will find strange.

I remember when I was a teenager and my bfs gfather passed away. I loved the man to pieces but I could not bring myself to even look at him or go into the church during his funeral. I was that afraid/unused to death.

These days, death has become all too normal and I am not afraid of it. I watched both my parents die. I don't think I would find myself posing or having my children posing with a deceased person, other than what I stated before, if I had a child who died not long after childbirth or was stillborn. I would not find that strange.

I don't have to worry about that because I am past those days.....
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Old 07-25-2013, 06:11 PM
 
Location: Colorado
18,717 posts, read 4,690,653 times
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There are post mortem photos done in the 1800's of people, children and adults, standing up, propped by
a sort of "stand"...you can usually detect them if you look closely behind the person's feet...I read about it
awhile back and thought it couldn't possibly be true...but it is.
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Old 07-25-2013, 07:10 PM
 
Location: Mid-Atlantic
22,600 posts, read 21,651,849 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tamiznluv View Post
Wow, disturbing, to say the least to me.

That one pic of the whole family! Murder/suicide?

The one where the little boy and man are sitting in a chair with their arms wrapped around each other....which one is dead?

The living kids who were forced to "snuggle" with a corpse...their faces say it all.

My questions are rhetorical, pigeon. I know you don't have the answers. Just needed to ask them.

Like my first comment in this thread....creepy.
The family photo? I think that it's the older man or possibly the woman.

* I was looking at the other group photo. Could have been an epidemic though they do look a bit battered. Natural disaster or something like a train accident?
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Old 07-25-2013, 08:46 PM
 
Location: Florida Gulf Coast
4,076 posts, read 5,478,425 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pigeonhole View Post
I regret not having taken a picture of my mum, but as a last farewell I put my picture and a small cross in the coffin. It helped a lot in the process of grieving my mother who was "only" 77 years old.
Wow, this thread has generated a lot of interest...and opinions. I agree it was tacky and inappropriate of the niece to take pictures of your mother in the casket, at least without asking. However, I did take photos of my mother in the casket and here's why:

I had been very worried about how my mother would look -- would they do her hair in an old-lady style (she was old but her hair was very casual and stylish)....would they do her makeup right (I had been to several recent funerals where the deceased had no eye makeup and looked awful because they normally wore it in real life, or in one case they parted the hair on the wrong side)....my mother looked awful without makeup so I gave them a whole bag of her own makeup.....I gave them five photos of her so they'd get it right....etc. etc. etc. I talked to a friend whose mother had recently died, and I asked if you're allowed to "tweak" the hair or makeup if it's not right. She said yes, and she said actually her mother had looked so beautiful in the casket, she wished she had taken a picture. I remembered that.

I get to the funeral home a half-hour before the viewing starts. I am taken aback by how beautiful my Mom looks. A couple things need tweaking -- lipstick needs to be lightened, hair needs to be changed a little on the sides -- and the funeral lady helps me with the last-minute changes. I actually put a touch more eyeshadow on her. Did I feel creeped-out? Nope. My mother was long gone. She had been in a coma for six days and even then, she was long gone. I was adamant that she look perfect in that casket, and she did. The flowers around the casket were color-coordinated with her soft pink top. She would have been pleased with how she looked. I have no siblings so I did it all myself.

The next morning, before anyone came in, I remembered what my friend had said. With no one else in the room, I took some photos. I wanted to remember how pretty my Mom had looked. I didn't know whether I'd ever look at the pictures, but I didn't want to regret not taking them. I printed them at home on my own printer, and I deleted the images from my camera. The pictures are in an envelope in the memory book. No one has ever seen them but me. I did look at them once or twice since she's been gone.

So my point being, if you want to take photo of your loved one, do it. As long as it is done in a respectful, dignified way, I don't see a problem with it. It's your loved one.
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Old 07-25-2013, 09:05 PM
 
Location: Chapel Hill, N.C.
36,428 posts, read 41,500,181 times
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I haven't read the whole thread so I may repeat what others have said but I remember studying historical and regional differences in the approach to death and funerals and yes it was quite prevalent to pose deceased for "portraits".

I hope this does not offend anybody but my experience and study is that lower socioeconomic families (as well as less educated) still do this to some extent. In the 60's I had a college roommate from Appalachia who kept a photo of her still born sister in her casket on her desk and somebody had painted the baby's fingernails fire engine red. I was actually in shock when I first saw it. I asked to be moved because of so many differences in culture and habits (mainly hygiene) after the first semester.

I heard an undertaker telling this story one time. He said two young guys came to visitation of their cousin earlier than rest of the family. He soon heard shuffling and moving noises and opened the door to find they had taken the deceased out of his coffin, sat him up in a chair and were taking pictures of each other with the body. Now that is really creepy. They didn't see anything wrong with it at all.

I don't like open casket or for that matter any kind of casket and my whole family has been cremated and DH and I will be as well.
Funerals and caskets and vaults are a big racket as far as I'm concerned.
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Old 07-25-2013, 09:13 PM
 
809 posts, read 892,349 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FKD19124 View Post
My mom passed away back at the end of 2008. At the funeral, we had an open casket. At the end of the service, my neice, who I love but has no common sense, started to take pictures of my Mother laying in her coffin. Talk about tacky!!! has anyone else experienced this??

I have been to funerals where it was video taped and the tape sent to the Ukraine because of family that was elderly and could not make the trip to the states.
Managed a large cemetery for 10 years; Nothing unusual about what happened. Did not read any replies, just putting my personal observation out there. People need different types of closure.
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Old 07-25-2013, 11:44 PM
 
Location: Florida Gulf Coast
4,076 posts, read 5,478,425 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sbyman View Post
they would have funerals very quickly actually cause they did not have the embalming thing down quite yet. i think in america we have tried to remove ourselves from the death and thats not a typical natural thing we should be doing, especially considering that 2.5 million Americans die a year. thats a lot of exposure to death
Really, it's gotten to the point where we can't even say someone "died" anymore. I know "passed away" sounds softer and gentler, but it's the cycle of life...and death.
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